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Best grills for 2020: gas, charcoal, and kamado grills compared

We tested dozen of grills, including Gas grills, classic charcoal options, Kamado grills, and Pellet models If you want to cook more at home or upgrade your outdoor kitchen with a grill, these models are our favorites.

No matter what type of outdoor grill you choose, be sure to freshen up how to clean it and the best accessories for grilling. With the right cooking techniques and craft tools, your spring and summer cookouts will be a breeze.

Not sure which type of grill is right for you? Check out our guide: Pellet vs. Charcoal vs. Gas: grill types, explained.

Continue reading: The best gas grill of 2020: Weber, Char-Broil and more

Chris Monroe / CNET

If burgers are the mainstay of your barbecues and garden grills, this Weber grill is a great choice. In fact, it’s a great choice for all-round cooking. The 10-year guarantee from Weber applies to all grill parts, so that you are set for years even under heavy use (e.g. if you don’t let a weekend pass without being able to cook some burgers). The consistent performance in our tests was delivered by burgers with a good char and a slightly pink center.

The Spirit II E-210 is also one of Weber’s iGrill-compatible models, an additional line of accessories with Bluetooth temperature probes that you can monitor via a companion app. When preparing dishes that take longer to grill, the iGrill system helps you keep an eye on things remotely.

At $ 379, this grill is in the middle of the affordability spectrum. The downsides are you don’t get a side burner or cabinet to hide your propane tank, although there is a rack that you can hang it on with a sliding mechanism. Still, I was happy with the searing and even cooking of this Weber model and would recommend it to anyone dreaming of the perfect Saturday barbecuing dishes like grilled salmon, grilled chicken, grilled corn and more.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Weber’s original kettle grill, valued at $ 109, has proven itself to be the best grill for cooking on charcoal. In our high-temperature scorching tests, Weber found the best balance between seared outside steak and medium-rare inside steak. The weaver also gave us great crispy chicken skin and flavorful ribs.

Simple construction means there is not too many parts to assemble or too many functions to handle while cooking. A vent on the lid controls the airflow and a well-designed ashtray under the grill makes cleaning easier.

We tested the 22-inch model in black, but Weber also offers an 18-inch version of its original kettle design. There are certainly fancier and more expensive grills out there, but for a balance between affordability and quality, you can’t go wrong starting out with this classic charcoal grill.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Kamado stoves, egg-shaped ceramic wood grills that you may have seen or at least heard of, add a delicious smoky flavor to everything they cook, and this is the best grill in the whole bunch. At smoking temperatures, they can be low and slow for hours and Fry on high heat, which is far beyond the capabilities of gas grills. That’s hot enough to create real steakhouse steaks and real wood-fired pizza like a professional griller.

At $ 1,600, the Kamado Joe Classic III may have a high price for luxury grills, but it offers plenty of cooking power for the money. That means lots of grilling accessories that aren’t standard on other grills, including the Big Green Egg. This kamado works well too. In our slow and low grill test, we set the grills to 107 ° C and release the controls to see what happens. In this experiment, the Joe showed excellent temperature stability.

Our tests

We test different types of grills differently, but for most of them we include a high heat test like searing steak or grilling burgers, a medium indirect heat test like grilling a whole chicken for over an hour, and a test lower and slow speed with ribs.

To determine what should be included as the best outdoor grill, we collect data such as total cooking time, temperatures in the grill, and the temperature in separate cuts of meat. All of this information helps us identify where barbecues may have hotspots or inconsistencies in the thermometer.

We use baskets to hold our burger patties during the gas grill tests.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Of course there are quite a few too (read: so a lot) blind taste tests, lively debates and voting among our editors in addition to the data we collect on temperatures and cooking times.

If you’re interested in a specific testing method, we have this and our full list of recommendations for cooking with Kamado grills, Gas grills, portable grills and Charcoal grills ready for your perusal. Have fun grilling!

This list originally only included gas grills. It has been updated to include the best charcoal and kamado grills too.

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